After a busy summer we’re seeing a slow-down and a shift in buyer activity this fall. Some of this is likely just seasonal, as many buyers re-signed leases for September 1 and dropped out of the home search process. But, as we have been predicting for a while, the market has changed.
In a nutshell: there’s simply more inventory for the buyers to choose from and, in a supply and demand dynamic, increased inventory has caused prices to settle. It’s also important to point out that in Boston, no matter the market conditions, there will always be those broadly desirable properties that command a head scratching price.
Generally speaking, we’re seeing the buyer pool push back on inflated pricing and we’re seeing buyers take their time on making decisions. The offers we’ve been negotiating this fall have been more complicated with more back and forth on numbers and more contingencies like inspections and financing. This market shift is particularly difficult for sellers. We’ve been having some hard conversations to help our sellers understand the need to reduce their asking price in order to entice buyers to take a look at their property.
There’s an interesting phenomenon I’ve observed in my many years of selling real estate: buyers are hesitant to make low offers. Even if we let buyers know that the seller is “flexible” or we encourage them to make “any offer,” buyers just don’t go for it. So, the best way for a seller to communicate their motivation and flexibility is to reflect it in the listing price for their property.
The buying and selling of real estate is an emotional and psychological process. And when the market becomes more complicated and transactions become more contentious, then the emotion behind the transaction becomes more apparent.
The good news is, at Donnelly + Co. we’ve weathered the highs and lows for a long time. So, no matter what happens, we know how to help you navigate the stormier waters of a complicated market.